Dr Amelia Swift RGN, MSc, PhD, PGCHE, SFHEA

Dr Amelia Swift

School of Nursing
Senior Lecturer
Head of Education (Nursing)
Programme Director Master of Nursing

Contact details

Institute of Clinical Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Amelia is the Head of Education for Nursing and the Programme Director for the Masters in Nursing (Research and Leadership and Dual Qualification).  She teaches widely across the pre-registration programmes and also contributes to post-graduate teaching in her specialist area of pain. Amelia is a champion of technology enhancement and works at Institute level to guide and promote educational enhancement and research.


  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 2017
  • PhD in Nursing (Osteoarthritis pain transmission), University of Birmingham 2012
  • PGCHE Coventry University 2001
  • MSc in Health Sciences (Management and Education), University of Birmingham 1999
  • ENB 100 (Intensive Care Nursing), Queen Elizabeth School of Nursing, Birmingham 1995
  • ENB 998 (Teaching and assessing) Queen Elizabeth School of Nursing, Birmingham 1995
  • RCN Higher Award Queen Elizabeth School of Nursing, Birmingham 1995
  • RGN Charles Frear School of Nursing, 1989


Amelia Swift is a registered nurse with a background in chronic pain and acute care. She teaches across the pre-registration programmes specialising in evidence-based practice, research, physiology, and pain.

Amelia is a creative teacher who has won two awards in recognition of her ability to innovate and support students learning complex subjects.  In 2006 Amelia was awarded the Student Nursing Times Educator of the Year and in 2018 she was awarded the Higher Education Futures Institute award for Educational Enhancement and Innovation for research intensive teaching and learning. 

Amelia supervises post-graduate taught and research students in their Masters and PhD level studies. Her preferred topic areas are education and pain and she has experience in quantitative methods. Amelia undertakes clinical practice regularly with the pain team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Amelia’s scholarly activity centres on education and pain.  She has authored numerous scholarly works to help disseminate good knowledge and practice about pain.  Amelia is currently the Chair of the British Pain Society Education Special Interest Group and an elected member of the British Pain Society Council and works with this group to establish a wide network of pain educators from multiple health disciplines.

Amelia is also an Associate Editor of Evidence Based Nursing journal and supports staff and students to publish. Her changes to the undergraduate dissertation module have enabled a number of students to publish their final year work in prestigious nursing journals.


Postgraduate supervision

  • 2019 MPH: The impact of change to bursary and fee status of student nurses on the demographics and attributes of the nursing student population.
  • 2018 MSc: High prevalence of low risk errors and discrepancies in IV infusions in the paediatric intensive care unit.
  • 2017 PhD: A randomised controlled trial to investigate if Vitamin D supplementation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease can modulate effects of the disease as an adjunct therapy: ViDS pilot study (NIHR CDRF)
  • 2016 EdD: Peer-led simulation to develop student nurse clinical reasoning skills
  • 2016 MPharm: Drug round delays and interruptions: a mixed method exploration
  • 2016 MSc: Investigation of the error rate relating to the delivery of continuously infused medications within the paediatric intensive care setting and whether the incidence of errors is increased when medications are administered outside of standard protocols.
  • 2015 MRES: What are undergraduate nursing students’ perceptions about research within their own academic programme and the nursing profession?
  • 2015 MRES: Experiences of older adults with cystic fibrosis 
  • 2015 MRES: A Nutritional intervention (NI)  to enhance patient recovery after elective Major Lung Surgery (MLS): a pilot study
  • 2015 MRES: Arterial stiffness and alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency: relationship to disease severity and co-morbidities
  • 2014  MRES: Induction of labour: is sepsis associated with a delay in the process?
  • 2014 MRES: Clinical research nurses: are they research nurse specialists or specialist research nurses

Doctoral Examination

  • 2018 EdD: Assessing teaching and learning strategies for student nurses: a randomised controlled trial on the impact of instructional face to face teaching and blended learning in knowledge and clinical skill acquisition and retention, Queens University Belfast.


Research interests

Subject specialism

  • Pain
  • Practice-based learning
  • Learning and teaching methods
  • Technology enhanced learning
  • Social media


  • Quantitative research
  • Systematic review
  • Meta-analysis

Other activities

  • British Pain Society, member of Council 2019 –
  • British Pain Society Education Special Interest Group, Chair 2018 –
  • Associate editor: Evidence Based Nursing.
  • Peer review:
    • European Journal of Pain
    • British Journal of Pain
    • Journal of Advanced Nursing
    • Journal of Clinical Nursing
    • Nursing Times


  • Swift A (2019) Evidence that active pain treatment improves sleep quality and quantity in people with depression and dementia Evidence Based Nursing http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ebnurs-2018-102934
  • Swift A (2019) Body sensor providing feedback to bedside staff reduced prevalence of pressure ulcers in patients with critical illness Evidence Based Nursing http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ebnurs-2018-102921
  • Swift A (2019) Commentary: Maternal dominance and reliance on over the counter analgesia can hinder development of healthy coping strategies for adolescents in pain Evidence Based Nursing http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ebnurs-2018-102968
  • Swift A (2018) Commentary: Evidence that active pain treatment improves sleep quality and quantity in people with depression and dementia Evidence Based Nursing

  • Lynch C, Gwynn C, Holland K, Swift A (2018) What does ‘routine post-op neuro obs’ really mean?  Establishing a guideline British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 14(6): 2-6

  • Gooding D, Swift A (2018) Use of social media to support nurses Evidence Based Nursing DOI: 10.1136/ebnurs-2018-103043 

  • Swift A (2018) Commentary: critical illness and recovery should be viewed as a social process in which the patient and family members experiences are different but complimentary Evidence Based Nursing 21(2):50 DOI: 10.1136/eb-2018-102877

  • Swift A (2018) Commentary: e-learning may be no better than traditional teaching for continuing education of health professionals Evidence Based Nursing  21(4) DOI: 10.1136/ebnurs-2018-102927

  • Swift A (2018) Pain: Perspectives Evidence Based Nursing 24:34-35 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/eb-2018-102886

  • Swift A, Twycross A (2018) Editorial: Enough is enough: time for a change in pain education Evidence Based Nursing 21:31-32 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/eb-2018-102894

  • Swift (2018) Understanding pain and the human body’s response to it Nursing Times 114: 3, 22-26

  • Swift (2018) Commentary: Non-opioid analgesia is as effective as opioid in acute pain and supports a change in prescribing practice to help address the ‘opioid epidemic’ Evidence Based Nursing 21(2):50 DOI: 10.1136/eb-2018-102877

  • Swift A (2018) Opinion: Re-thinking Pain Education Evidence Based Nursing 21: 34-35 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/eb-2018-102886

  • Fletcher J, Swift A (2017) Vitamin D Screening in patients with inflammatory bowel disease Gastrointestinal Nursing 15(9) https://doi.org/10.12968/gasn.2017.15.9.16

  • Reid KJ, Swift A, Mehanna H (2017) A q methodology study to investigate the experiences of head and neck cancer patients from diagnosis to 1 year European Journal of Cancer Care https://doi.org/10.1111/ecc.12694

  • Swift A, Efstathiou N, Lemau P (2016) Is Labtutor a helpful component of the blended learning approach to biosciences. Journal of Clinical Nursing doi: 10.1111/jocn.13175

  • Swift A (2016) Acute Pain Management Learning Unit Nursing Times [online]

  • Swift A (2015) Pain Management 3: the assessment of pain in adults Nursing Times 111(41):12-17 PMid:26647478

  • Swift A (2015) Pain Management: Transmission of pain signals to the brain Nursing Times 111(40): 22-4 PMid:26625698

  • Swift A (2015) Physiology: how the body detects painful stimuli Nursing Times 111(39):20-3 PMid:26548283

  • Swift A (2012) Opioids in Palliative Care Nursing Times 108(45):16-19 PMid:23240272

  • Swift A (2012) Osteoarthritis: physiology, risk factors and causes of pain Nursing Times 108(7):12-15 PMid:22479933

  • Swift A (2012) Osteoarthritis: pain management and treatment strategies Nursing Times 108(8): 25-27 PMid:22458083

  • Swift A (2012) The impact of osteoarthritis Nursing Times [online only: available from] http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/clinical-specialisms/rheumatology/osteoarthritis-3-impact-on-patients/5042032.article (accessed 13.9.12)

  • Swift A (2011) Never accept that pain is a normal part of growing old Nursing Times 107:16

  • Swift A (2011) A patient has osteoarthritis of the knees but cannot take NSAIDS.  How can I provide pain relief? Nursing Times 107(14):25

  • Williamson-Swift A (2011) Pain and its pharmacological management in older adults IN Hindle A, Coates A (Eds) Nursing Care of Older People Oxford, OUP: 213-233

  • Williamson-Swift A (2008) Education and training of pain nurse specialists Pain News Autumn Acute Pain 9: 207-213

  • Williamson A, Hoggart B (2005) A review of three commonly used pain-rating scales. Journal of Clinical Nursing 14: 798-804Swift A, Thompson K, Twycross A (2017) Twitter chats as an educational tool for pain. Pain News 15(4): 189-191

Conference Presentations

  • Swift A, Twycross A, Parker R (2018) Practice based pain education: a systematic review IASP World Pain Congress

  • Winmill H, Swift A (2018) High prevalence of low risk errors and discrepancies in IV infusions in the paediatric intensive care unit. Celebrating multidisciplinary research: Birmingham Health Partners (Prize winner)

  • Williamson-Swift A, Hoggart B (2008) Pro-inflammatory cytokines in the CSF of patients with osteoarthritis determined by high sensitivity multiplex bead assay array International Association for the Study of Pain World Congress, Glasgow.

  • Williamson-Swift A (2008) Education and training of pain nurse specialists in the UK British Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting

  • Williamson A, Hoggart B, Whitehead K.A (2005) GABA levels in osteoarthritis pain 11th World Congress International Association for the Study of Pain

  • Williamson A, Hoggart B (2003) Analgesia and activity in patients awaiting arthroplasty British Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting

  • Williamson A (2000) Pain beliefs and pain management programmes  British Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting